I have been betrayed. I have had someone alienate the affections of my wife. The result was what many of you also may have experienced… divorce. If you are still in this relationship, there also may be hope for learning to trust again. The wounds for me were deep but I determined that I would do all that I could do to heal.
One thing I did first was to realize that I couldn’t operate in a victim stance. When I say, ‘I was betrayed’ I still support that victim stance. If I put the blame where it belongs and say basically the same thing, the new phrase becomes, that my ‘spouse betrayed her/himself.’ It becomes their problem and I can either choose to help them overcome or leave them alone to overcome it themselves… or not.
The healthy stance becomes, ‘what am I going to do?’ If my spouse still loves me and is sorry about the mistake, do I forgive and reconcile? Certainly that is an option. But if not… then what?? The key operative phrase that helped me turn the corner is the ‘but if not…’ part of that question.
Options for me were cloudy in the beginning. I was deeply affected by the actions of another. It hurt and still does but not so much as it did right at the moment. The eventual divorce for me was anticlimactic. I had already cried all the tears and felt much of the pain from the betrayal. However, I did not want it to affect who I was. Here are a few things I did to keep my own sanity and integrity.
- Decide to love, no matter what.
- Determine to love every day. When I wake up, I have a way that choose what way I will express love that day. It’s called the Role of Love. I watch for opportunities to love in various ways and then follow the prompting to express love in appropriate ways.
- Stop looking for mistakes others make and start looking for the good they do. This is so hard in a world that reports mistakes and makes a big deal out of errors rather than making a big deal out of doing well.
- Be that person that is constantly going about doing good. Bless those that curse you and do good to those that despitefully use you. There are plenty of people around that will use you but we can see the good in them and magnify that good by noticing it. By noticing it, it may become larger than the not so acceptable behaviors.
- Understand that I cannot be bitter and sweet at the same time. Even sweet and sour pork has both flavors but you detect one or the other at different times. Learn to be sweet more than bitter. It really helps to take the nasty medicine the world has to give.
As I have followed these few steps, I have been able to learn to trust mankind again. Indeed, most of men are kind or can be. Notice it, and it will become larger than life!